2018 Holley LS Fest West: Day 2 Highlights

Day two of LS Fest West 2018 not only saw higher spectator and participant turnout, but fiercer competition amongst the respective fields as well. This also lead to more mechanical carnage, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Cinco De Mayo saw temperatures rise to as high as 88 degrees raising the track’s DA and slowing some of the competitors who soldiered along undeterred anyways. But if there is one thing the LS isn’t shy about, it’s taking abuse. So buckle up as we take a look at some of the highlights from day two of LS Fest West.

Drifting

You know an event is popular at LS Fest West when its onlookers’ line-up in the masses just to watch practice runs. We’re talking about the second annual Drift Challenge in this instance. Albeit to be fair, practice started last night, but in the heat of today, hundreds of LS fans alike joined forces to watch one of the show’s most popular events unfold.

That was until one drifter made a mess of things during the first practice runs of the day. Unfortunately, Amanda Sorensen and her LS swapped BMW M3 took a turn for the worst (no pun intended) when the Pro-AM drifter began lighting up the track in her E46, which resulted in what appeared to be an oil down on the track.

Show n’ Shine

With the drifting event coming to a halt, we decided to make our way over to the Show-N-Shine event. Our attention was immediately drawn to a bright purple C6 Z06 Corvette. As you can tell from the photos, she loved to be photographed in the midst of the Nevada sunlight.

Next up was a trio of Pontiac GTOs. They say three’s company, but in the case of these Goats, we think a triple threat was just what the doctor ordered. We’ve featured the red and center GTO on our Facebook fan page in the past, and that extremely clean Impulse Blue example had us drooling like none other.

We also spied an Atomic Orange C6 Z06 that appeared to be oozing power from every pour. Upon closer inspection, it tuns out the Z has an LME-built big-cube LS featuring direct-port nitrous injection. The gorgeous billet LME intake manifold features twin throttle body openings and was designed with the nitrous system in mind. Billet LME valve covers topped off the engine and kept the billet look going.

With a fat tire out back and a carbon fiber hood up front, this Z06 screamed speed. We’d love to see it in action and were hoping that it would be participating in more than just the show n’ shine, but alas the car didn’t move from its position showing off its good looks. We can still dream.

Drag Racing

Time trials for most classes continued with LS True Street, followed by LS Rumble Index, Late Model Heads Up, and LS Truck. The LS True Street cruise to verify that competitors met the True Street guidelines took place at high noon and subjected the racers to a grueling high-heat jaunt around the streets of Las Vegas. Quickly thereafter, first-round eliminations for LS True Street took place and will culminate in a winner tomorrow afternoon.

Cleetus McFarland was on hand and laid down a couple of exhibition runs several times throughout the day. He originally got booted for not having a window net, however, the track staff clearly didn’t notice the car doesn’t have windows. The Cleetus crew improvised an Leroy the Savage returned to the track today with a couple of improvised nets bonded to the Corvette’s roll cage.

We’re told that even with the improvements, the track would only allow Cleetus to go 9s and no faster. With that in mind, Cleetus blasted down the track on a couple of tears that would have been obviously much faster than 9.00 but he quickly shut the Corvette down just after the eighth-mile mark and still managed to go 9.11. On his final run, Cleetus pulled to the starting line sporting LS Fest flags in his flag pole mounts. The final run was untimed and Cleetus shut it down early again. However, it likely won’t have been even remotely close to his record since higher temperatures saw DA soar to 4,500+ feet.

Several of the drag classes were lightly attended and thus the attendees were cycled through fairly quick. However, several of the drivers of the faster cars participating in the 275 Outlaw class were less than happy about the track prep at The Strip. One even went as far as to enter the drag tower to have a… let’s call it lively…chat with the staff on how much the perceived lack of preparation was affecting and jeopardizing his high-dollar race car.

The reality of the matter is a little more nuanced though. The fact of the matter is that with so many classes running, including Grand Champion, some of the cars are running with street and even all-terrain tires in some cases. This would tear up any track’s prep and when combined with several oil downs throughout the day it’s easy to see why the track may be less than perfect.

And speaking of Grand Champion, the competitors in the class had their final opportunities to put in their fastest quarter-mile pass. What’s most impressive about the class is that many of the cars are manual transmission vehicles that are clearly not setup for drag racing, and yet the fastest of them all ran deep into the 10s, all on R compound tires or less.

As the sun began to sink in the sky and dip behind the towering Sierra Nevada mountains in the distance the class continued to run. An oil down on the right lane shut it down for good for the night, but the rest of the field was allowed to run one at a time on the left lane until everyone had three passes.

On to Day Three

With the Grand Champion class in the books, the gates closed and brought the second day of LS Fest West to a close. Tomorrow, Holley will crown the overall winners of each and every facet of the event. Stay tuned for more updates and check out our gallery of all the day two action. 

Photo gallery

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About the author

Chase Christensen

Chase Christensen hails from Salt Lake City, and grew up around high-performance GM vehicles. He took possession of his very first F-body— an ’86 Trans Am— at the age of 13 and has been wrenching ever since.
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